Tagged: ESA Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • richardmitnick 10:42 am on February 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ESA, , ESO WFI at 2.2 meter MPG/ESO, , , , What remains of the stars-Past and future generations of stars in NGC 300"   

    From European Space Agency: “What remains of the stars-Past and future generations of stars in NGC 300” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency

    25/02/2019
    ESA/XMM-Newton (X-rays); MPG/ESO (optical); NASA/Spitzer (infrared). Acknowledgement: S. Carpano, Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics

    ESA/XMM Newton


    MPG/ESO 2.2 meter telescope at Cerro La Silla, Chile, 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres

    NASA/Spitzer Infrared Telescope

    1

    This swirling palette of colours portrays the life cycle of stars in a spiral galaxy known as NGC 300.

    Located some six million light-years away, NGC 300 is relatively nearby. It is one of the closest galaxies beyond the Local Group – the hub of galaxies to which our own Milky Way galaxy belongs. Due to its proximity, it is a favourite target for astronomers to study stellar processes in spiral galaxies.

    The population of stars in their prime is shown in this image in green hues, based on optical observations performed with the Wide Field Imager (WFI) on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at La Silla, Chile.

    ESO WFI LaSilla 2.2-m MPG/ESO telescope at La Silla, 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres

    Red colours indicate the glow of cosmic dust in the interstellar medium that pervades the galaxy: this information derives from infrared observations made with NASA’s Spitzer space telescope, and can be used to trace stellar nurseries and future stellar generations across NGC 300.

    A complementary perspective on this galaxy’s composition comes from data collected in X-rays by ESA’s XMM-Newton space observatory, shown in blue. These represent the end points of the stellar life cycle, including massive stars on the verge of blasting out as supernovas, remnants of supernova explosions, neutron stars, and black holes. Many of these X-ray sources are located in NGC 300, while others – especially towards the edges of the image – are foreground objects in our own Galaxy, or background galaxies even farther away.

    The sizeable blue blob immediately to the left of the galaxy’s centre is especially interesting, featuring two intriguing sources that are part of NGC 300 and shine brightly in X-rays.

    One of them, known as NGC 300 X-1, is in fact a binary system, consisting of a Wolf-Rayet star – an ageing hot, massive and luminous type star that drives strong winds into its surroundings – and a black hole, the compact remains of what was once another massive, hot star. As matter from the star flows towards the black hole, it is heated up to temperatures of millions of degrees or more, causing it to shine in X-rays.

    The other source, dubbed NGC 300 ULX1, was originally identified as a supernova explosion in 2010. However, later observations prompted astronomers to reconsider this interpretation, indicating that this source also conceals a binary system comprising a very massive star and a compact object – a neutron star or a black hole – feeding on material from its stellar companion.

    Data obtained in 2016 with ESA’s XMM-Newton and NASA’s NuSTAR observatories revealed regular variations in the X-ray signal of NGC 300 ULX1, suggesting that the compact object in this binary system is a highly magnetized, rapidly spinning neutron star, or pulsar.

    NASA/DTU/ASI NuSTAR X-ray telescope

    The large blue blob in the upper left corner is a much more distant object: a cluster of galaxies more than one billion light years away, whose X-ray glow is caused by the hot diffuse gas interspersed between the galaxies.

    Explore NGC 300 in ESASky

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA50 Logo large

     
  • richardmitnick 2:33 pm on February 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Affordable worldwide internet coverage, ESA, GOV.UK, , This ESA project will span seven nations including Canada and is an example of how the UK will continue to work across Europe and globally,   

    From UK Space Agency for GOV.UK: “£18m for OneWeb satellite constellation to deliver global communications” 

    UK Space Agency

    From UK Space Agency

    for

    GOV.UK

    Affordable worldwide internet coverage is one step closer today, after £18 million of UK Space Agency funding was awarded to OneWeb through the European Space Agency, to aid the development of its next generation satellite constellation.

    18 February 2019
    Chris Skidmore MP

    2
    Artist’s impression of OneWeb satellite constellation. Credit: Airbus.

    A global communications network in space, the system will be comprised of approximately 650 satellites initially and scale to more than 900 satellites over time.

    Science Minister Chris Skidmore is visiting the European Space Agency in the Netherlands today. He will say:

    Fast internet access is something many people take for granted but in many areas of the world connectivity is still hit and miss.

    This new £18m investment will go towards meeting the significant technical challenges of the project, putting the UK at the forefront of cutting-edge research and development.

    The commercial potential for a cost effective worldwide telecoms satellite system is huge, and the UK space sector is playing a leading role in delivering it. It is made possible by our ongoing commitment to the European Space Agency and our world-leading capabilities in space and telecommunications, which we are supporting through our modern Industrial Strategy.

    UK business OneWeb, which is headquartered in London and will employ up to 200 staff at its’ White City offices, is poised to take advantage of cost effective spacecraft launch and manufacturing to deploy hundreds of satellites that could provide more affordable internet connectivity to people and businesses across the world.

    The OneWeb Sunrise programme will initially focus on technologies for the next generation of satellite payloads, ground connections and space debris removal.

    The UK Space Agency investment will also support novel automation techniques and artificial intelligence to manage the proposed constellation of spacecraft and its interaction with terrestrial networks to realise global 5G connectivity.

    Adrian Steckel, CEO, OneWeb said:

    Providing access to people everywhere has been the mission and vision of OneWeb since the very beginning. We will be able to realize this vision in part because of important partnerships like this one with the UK Space Agency, ESA and a range of other important partners including our European and Canadian partners. Thanks to this support, we will focus together on next generation technologies that will be game changers for realizing global 5G connectivity.

    We are excited about the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to develop novel automation techniques that could help manage our constellation in future and ensure we do so safely and responsibly so that we can protect space for future generations.

    Today’s announcement comes as a result of the UK’s leading investment in the European Space Agency’s telecommunications research programme (ARTES).

    ESA is independent of the European Union and hosts its European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications (ECSAT) in Harwell, Oxfordshire, furthering the UK’s world-leading position in satellite communications.

    Magali Vaissiere, ESA Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications said:

    Sunrise is a prominent endeavour falling under our Satellite for 5G Initiative.

    It represents the exciting and required new direction ESA is taking in support of our Member States’ industry to remain at the forefront of not only the most advanced developments within the space world, but also to enable the necessary complement to the terrestrial networks that satellites will have to play to ensure a successful and fully inclusive digitalisation of industry and society.

    This ESA project will span seven nations including Canada and is an example of how the UK will continue to work across Europe and globally.

    The news comes as the first batch of 6 satellites of the OneWeb constellation are due to be launched on an Arianespace Soyuz rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana next week (26 February).

    The UK is a world leader in telecommunications satellites. Last month EUTELSAT QUANTUM, the first satellite capable of being completely reprogrammed after launch left the UK for final assembly and testing in France.

    And in November last year, Eutelsat and Airbus signed a new contract worth hundreds of millions of pounds that will see components and parts for two further communications satellites assembled in the UK. This means that 6 out of 7 of the company’s next satellites will be partially built in Britain.

    The UK space sector is growing rapidly, employing 42,000 people and playing a major role in the global shift towards the commercialisation of space activities – known as ‘New Space’.

    The UK space industry is commercially focused with 82% of income from sales to consumers and businesses. The latest industry figures show it has an income of £14.8 billion, employment of 41,900 and exports worth £5.5 billion, while supporting a further £300 of UK GDP through the provision of satellite services to other sectors.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The UK Space Agency is responsible for all strategic decisions on the UK civil space programme and provides a clear, single voice for UK space ambitions.

    At the heart of UK efforts to explore and benefit from space, we are responsible for ensuring that the UK retains and grows a strategic capability in space-based systems, technologies, science and applications. We lead the UK’s civil space programme in order to win sustainable economic growth, secure new scientific knowledge and provide benefit to all citizens.

    We work to:

    co-ordinate UK civil space activity
    encourage academic research
    support the UK space industry
    raise the profile of UK space activities at home and abroad
    increase understanding of space science and its practical benefits
    inspire our next generation of UK scientists and engineers
    licence the launch and operation of UK spacecraft
    promote co-operation and participation in the European Space programme

    We’re an executive agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, made up of about 70 staff based in Swindon, London and the UK Space Gateway in Oxfordshire.

    We are responsible for:

    leading the UK civil space policy and increasing the UK contribution to European initiatives
    building a strong national space capability, including scientific and industrial centres of excellence
    co-ordinating strategic investment across industry and academia
    working to inspire and train a growing, skilled UK workforce of space technologists and scientists
    working on national and international space projects in co-operation with industry and academia
    regulating the UK civil space activities and ensuring we meet international treaty obligations

     
  • richardmitnick 10:05 am on February 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ESA, , , ,   

    From European Space Agency via Manu Garcia, a friend from IAC: “The limits of the Earth’s atmosphere” 


    From Manu Garcia, a friend from IAC.

    The universe around us.
    Astronomy, everything you wanted to know about our local universe and never dared to ask.

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency

    20 February, 2019

    Igor Baliukin
    Space Research Institute
    Russian Academy of Science
    Moscow, Russia
    Email: igor.baliukin@gmail.com

    Jean-Loup Bertaux
    Former principal investigator of SWAN
    Laboratoire Atmospheres Milieux, Observations Spatiales (LATMOS)
    Université de Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France
    Email: jean-loup.bertaux@latmos.ipsl.fr

    Bernhard Fleck
    SOHO project scientist
    European Space Agency
    Email: bfleck@esa.nascom.nasa.gov

    Markus Bauer
    ESA Science Program Communication Officer
    Tel: +31 71 565 6799
    Mob: +31 61 594 3 954
    Email: markus.bauer@esa.int

    Earth’s atmosphere reaches the Moon and beyond.
    1
    The extent of land geocorona. Where the atmosphere of the Earth merges with outer space, there is a cloud of hydrogen atoms called geocorona. A recent discovery based on observations of the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory ESA / NASA SOHO shows that geocorona extends far beyond the orbit of the Moon, reaching up to 630 000 km above the surface of the Earth, or 50 times the diameter of our planet. Note: The illustration is not to scale. Credit: ESA.

    The most distant region of our atmosphere extends beyond the lunar orbit, up to twice the distance to our natural satellite.

    Thanks to data collected by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) of ESA / NASA, a recent discovery shows that the gas layer that surrounds the Earth has a radius of 630,000 km, 50 times the diameter of our planet.

    ESA/NASA SOHO

    “The moon orbits inside the Earth’s atmosphere,” says Igor Baliukin, the Russian Space Research Institute and lead author of the paper presenting the results.

    “We were not aware of it until we recover the observations made over two decades ago by SOHO.”

    In the region where the atmosphere merges into the outer space, there is a cloud of hydrogen atoms called “geocorona”. One of the satellite instruments, SWAN [no image available], used its sensors to track the signing of hydrogen and accurately detect how far the limit of the geocorona arrived.

    These observations could be made only at certain times of the year when the Earth and its geocorona were visible instrument.

    In the planets with their exosferas hydrogen, water vapor often seen near the surface. This is what happens on Earth, Mars and Venus.

    Jean-Loup Bertaux as, former principal investigator and co-author SWAN explains: “This is particularly interesting when we look for planets with possible water deposits beyond our solar system.”

    The first telescope on the Moon, deployed in 1972 by the Apollo astronauts 16 mission captured an image reminiscent of Earth wrapped in geocorona bright ultraviolet light.

    “At that time, the astronauts on the lunar surface did not know that they were actually immersed in the outermost layers of the geocorona” says Jean-Loup.

    The Sun interacts with the hydrogen atoms through a specific wavelength of the ultraviolet spectrum, called Lyman alpha, these atoms can absorb and emit. As this type of light is absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere, it can only be observed from space.

    With its cell uptake of hydrogen, the SWAN instrument could measure light selectively Lyman alpha geocorona and discard the hydrogen atoms located in interplanetary space.

    The new study has revealed that sunlight compresses the hydrogen atoms in the geocorona of the day side of the Earth, while producing a denser region on the night side. Hydrogen daytime region of higher density remains rather low, with only 70 atoms per cubic centimeter to 60,000 kilometers from the earth’s surface, and about 0.2 atoms at the distance of the Moon.

    “On Earth we would call it empty, so this extra source of hydrogen is not enough to provide space exploration,” Igor added.

    The good news is that these particles do not pose a threat to space travelers of future manned missions to orbit the moon.

    “There is also ultraviolet radiation associated -we recalls Jean-Loup geocorona Bertaux- since the hydrogen atoms are dispersed in all directions, but the impact on astronauts in orbit would be minimal mole compared to the main radiation source : the Sun”.

    The bad news is that the Earth’s future geocorona could interfere with astronomical observations near the moon.

    As Jean-Loup warns: “Space telescopes that observe the sky in ultraviolet wavelengths to study the chemical composition of stars and galaxies have to take this into account.”

    The power of files.
    2
    Print Artist Solar and Heliospheric Observatory ESA / NASA SOHO, with the Sun seen by the extreme ultraviolet telescope satellite images on September 14 , 1999. Credit: Spacecraft: ESA / Medialab ATG; Sun: ESA / NASA SOHO, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

    Launched in December 1995, the space observatory SOHO has more than two decades studying the sun, from inside its core to the outer corona and solar wind. The satellite orbits in the first Lagrange point (L1), about 1.5 million kilometers from Earth toward the sun.

    LaGrange Points map. NASA

    Its position is perfect to watch the geocorona from outside. The SWAN instrument SOHO captured images of the Earth and its atmosphere on three occasions between 1996 and 1998.

    The team of researchers from Jean-Loup and Igor in Russia decided to recover this data set from the files for analysis. These unique of all the geocorona from SOHO views are now shedding new light on Earth’s atmosphere.

    “It is often possible to take advantage of archived data many years and do new science with them -constata Bernhard Fleck, SOHO Project Scientist of ESA-. This finding underscores the value of some data collected over 20 years and the outstanding performance of SOHO “.

    More information:
    The article ” SWAN / SOHO Lyman-alpha mapping: the Hydrogen geocorona extends well beyond the Moon .” I Baliukin et al, is accepted for publication in Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA50 Logo large

     
  • richardmitnick 12:42 pm on February 19, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Interactive space simulation for nanosatellites", , , , , ESA, Online ‘beeApp’ software, Open Cosmos mission simulator, Pioneer partner Open Cosmos   

    From European Space Agency: “Interactive space simulation for nanosatellites” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency

    19 February 2019

    1
    Open Cosmos mission simulator

    Pioneer partner Open Cosmos are taking mission development to a new dimension, using a virtual reality-like simulation that replicates life in orbit for space technologies.

    Through an innovative combination of a plug-and-play test platform and software, the UK Harwell-based SME is slashing the time it takes for space missions to be designed and qualified for launch.

    Their online ‘beeApp’ software helps define a full space mission from the ground up, including selection of launchers, ground stations and satellite size.

    Based on those parameters, it runs simulations on the orbits, amount of power received by the satellite from the sun, and when it can communicate with the ground. This data is then used to create the optimal mission profile.

    Once that has been decided, their ‘beeKit’ hardware emulates the size, on-board computer and electrical interfaces of a real satellite, to facilitate the design and testing of the actual payloads.

    When linked, these two tools can simulate the mission in space, and how the payload will perform.

    The beeApp simulates the amount of available solar power, the ground station passes and the payload’s modes of operation and plays it back to the real payload installed in the beeKit.

    That then records the behaviour of the payload as if it was in orbit, providing the mission owners with the data they need to either improve the design or proceed with the mission as is.

    Moreover, the kit hardware is a match for Open Cosmos’ beeSat operational platform, and can be tested along with the payload for the usual mechanical space-qualifying tests, such as vibration and thermal vacuum testing.

    2
    Open Cosmos mission simulator
    Released 19/02/2019
    Copyright Open Cosmos
    The Open Cosmos beeApp application defines a full space mission, including selection of launchers, ground stations and satellite sizes. Based on those parameters, the software simulates the orbits, the amount of power received by the satellite from the sun, when it can see a ground segment and communicate with the Earth, or pass over a specific region. The Open Cosmos beeKit satellite hardware emulates the size, the on-board computer and electrical interfaces of a real satellite, to facilitate the testing of payloads. These payloads can be anything, ranging from Earth Observation, scientific instruments and telecommunication, including proven telecommunications technology or new technology demonstrations.

    The two tools can be linked together to simulate a mission with a real payload. The mission definition software simulates the amounts of available solar power, the ground station passes and the modes of operation of the payload and plays it back to the real payload. It then records the behaviour of the payload as if it was in orbit.

    The company developed the tools under the ‘SAPION’ project of ESA’s ARTES Pioneer programme.

    This means that after the payload has proven to be able to withstand the replicated conditions of launch and space in the beeKit, it can immediately be integrated with the beeSat spacecraft platform, ready for the real thing.

    Open Cosmos then takes care of all technical, legal, logistical and operational processes to bring the payload into orbit at minimal cost.

    The company developed the tools under the ‘SAPION’ project of ESA’s ARTES Pioneer programme.

    Khalil Kably, ESA Pioneer Programme Manager, said: “Pioneer is designed to support companies like Open Cosmos to provide in-orbit validation for other parties as what we call Space Mission Providers.

    “Our purpose is to de-risk our partners’ investments to answer market needs, and we saw a real need to reduce the barriers that can impede the development of disruptive ideas and help Europe’s space sector remain at the cutting edge of technological innovation.”

    Dani Sors, Open Cosmos Head of Customer Success and Florian Deconinck, Head of Strategic Partnerships presented their beeApp and beeKit tools to an audience of ESA experts and Member State delegates at ESA ECSAT on Harwell Campus, UK, on 6 February.

    Catherine Mealing-Jones, Director of Growth, UK Space Agency, said: “The UK is the largest funder of satellite telecommunications research and applications through ESA. We continue to work closely with partners across Europe and the rest of the world to help space start-ups like Open Cosmos transform their exciting ideas into commercial realities, resulting in jobs, growth and innovation throughout the UK.”

    Remco Timmermans, Open Cosmos Head of Communications, said: “Open Cosmos makes space accessible to new players, using new technology, in the shortest timeframes currently possible. We support anything from Earth observation, scientific instruments, telecommunications or new technology demonstrations, and can get a payload in orbit in much less than the usual time and at a fraction of the cost.

    “There is a broad community of people with ambitious ideas struggling to get to orbit. Open Cosmos partners with that community to realise their space mission. The Open Cosmos Call to Orbit, supported by ESA, makes the beeApp and beeKit available for free, to start building the missions of tomorrow.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA50 Logo large

     
  • richardmitnick 11:12 am on February 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ESA, ESA probing into post-silicon wide bandgap landscape, Gallium nitride, Raising interest in a new range of ‘wide bandgap’ semiconductor materials   

    From European Space Agency: “ESA probing into post-silicon, wide bandgap landscape” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency

    13 February 2019
    1
    Crystal of gallium nitride

    What comes next after silicon? Some seven decades from the invention of the silicon chip this question is often asked, especially in the space sector: demands for extreme high performance have highlighted silicon’s inherent limitations, raising interest in a new range of ‘wide bandgap’ semiconductor materials.

    A material’s ‘bandgap’ is the space between atomic shell layers that dictates the amount of energy needed to get electrons moving and make that material conductive. But electrons can also be shifted into the conduction band by heat; so, for instance, silicon-based semiconductors become unusable for temperatures from around 180°C and up.

    Wide bandgap materials such as gallium nitride, silicon carbide and diamond can attain much higher operating temperatures, potentially enabling much higher current density designs running at higher voltages. Electrons also move faster through them, delivering faster device speeds. And as an added benefit they are robust against the effects of radiation – a particular issue in space.

    2
    GaN on silicon carbide wafers, produced as part of ESA’s GREAT2 project

    ESA recognised the potential of the wide bandgap realm for space at an early stage, founding the ‘GaN Reliability Enhancement and Technology Transfer Initiative’ (GREAT2) in 2008 for gallium nitride (GaN) microwave devices, at a time when it was used mainly for high-performance LEDs and the lasers of Blu-ray players.

    Leading research institutes were brought together with manufacturers to set up an independent European supply chain to manufacture high-quality GaN radio frequency devices for space applications.

    3
    GaN wafer quality check

    “The promise of these materials makes them highly strategic,” explains Andrew Barnes, heading GREAT2. “We need independent European supply chains because if we were totally dependent on a foreign source that became subject to export restrictions then the whole industrial sector would be compromised, along with our competitiveness.”

    The initial focus of GREAT2 was on GaN-based microwave power transistors and integrated circuits, as building blocks for high-performance solid-state power amplifiers, to bolster the competitiveness of the European telecommunications industry – the single largest and most commercial space sector.

    ESA Biomass mission depiction

    “These same power transistors shall in the near future be offered on the open market after completion of a project funded by ESA’s European Component Initiative, which is the first time we’ve achieved that,” adds Andrew. “Such power transistors are also being investigated for use in the next-decade Galileo Second Generation.

    “At the same time we’re in the process of qualifying some of the foundry processes used on a more systematic basis, following European Cooperation for Space Standardization rules. We’re also seeking to develop additional standards in terms of screening and testing and insertion into space systems – this is essential for wider industrial take-up of the technology, and we’re making steady progress.”

    5
    GaN Single Chip Front End. Natanael Ayllon, ESA payload engineer, showing a prototype transmit/receive module on a single gallium nitride chip.

    GREAT2’s focus has now moved to high voltage power converters and amplifiers for higher frequencies, operating at millimetre wavelength. The Ninth Wide Bandgap Workshop hosted at ESA’s Harwell centre in the UK took stock of the general progress made and looked ahead to the next steps towards the wide bandgap future.

    “This includes improving production quality of GaN ‘epitaxy’ – meaning crystal growth – and moving to higher frequency foundry processes for space ready parts, utilizing 100 nanometre gate lengths or lower for GaN,” explains Andrew. Work is also ongoing to test the space radiation robustness of GaN power transistors for DC-DC convertor applications.

    Diamond Light Source, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire U.K.

    ESA ECSAT-The European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications (ECSAT) is ESA’s facility in the United Kingdom. It is based at the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire

    “We’ve also worked to boost their general robustness. We found, for instance, that some of the passive components used on GaN monolithic microwave integrated circuit parts weren’t performing so well in radiation testing as expected, and this came down to the legacy of their design, originally these capacitor designs were based on legacy parts built in gallium arsenide. By tuning design parameters, i.e. adjusting the dielectric layer stack, we have now achieved a big improvement.”

    Other wide bandgap materials such as diamond are also under investigation, in their own right and also as a ‘substrate’ backing material for GaN devices to give improved thermal performance.

    6
    Laser alignment for heavy ion radiation testing of GaN power devices at IMEC by ON Semiconductor. ESA

    Andrew comments: “Diamond has a similar crystalline structure to GaN, and excellent thermal conductivity properties. The University of Bristol presented work done in integrating GaN with diamond. The result is a fivefold increase in heat dissipation, allowing even higher power densities – diamond is a GaN’s best friend.”

    The workshop also peered further into the future, with discussions looking forward to GaN-based optoelectronic devices, diamond-based integrated circuits and electric thrusters and the 3D printing of wide bandgap materials, as a means of revolutionising device manufacturing.

    7
    25mm diameter diamond substrates growing in 100mm chemical vapor deposition reactor. University of Bristol

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA50 Logo large

     
  • richardmitnick 10:36 am on February 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ESA, Nanosatellite to serve the Internet of Things tested for space   

    From European Space Agency: “Nanosatellite to serve the Internet of Things tested for space” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency

    11 February 2019

    The Netherlands’ latest space firm brought its newest design for testing in ESA’s largest antenna test facility. The Hiber company has already launched its first two nanosatellites into orbit, and is busily preparing its next generation.

    1
    Hiber CubeSat in Hertz

    Dutch space company Hiber is building an orbital constellation of CubeSats – small modular satellites based around 10 cm units – to provide global low-cost connectivity for the ‘Internet of Things’, tracking and harnessing data from modem-linked objects such as haulage vehicles, power cables, pipelines or sensors for precision agriculture.

    2
    Nanosatellite with near-field scanner

    Evaluation of a test nanosatellite took place in ESA’s metal-walled Hybrid European Radio Frequency and Antenna Test Zone (Hertz) at the Agency’s technical centre in the Netherlands, shut off from all external influences for radio testing.

    Hertz’s hybrid nature makes it unique: the facility can assess radio signals from antennas either on a local ‘near-field’ basis or as if the signal has crossed thousands of kilometres of space, allowing it to serve all kinds of satellites and antenna systems.

    3
    Hiber CubeSat

    Hiber’s initial development was supported through ESA’s Business Incubation Centre Noordwijk. The company went on to launch its first two CubeSats last year. Its test campaign in ESA’s Hertz chamber was organised through the Netherlands Space Office.

    5
    Hiber in Hertz

    The CubeSats were manufactured for Hiber by Dutch small satellite specialist ISIS-Innovative Solutions In Space

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA50 Logo large

     
  • richardmitnick 11:08 am on February 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Gaia clocks new speeds for Milky Way-Andromeda collision", , , , , ESA   

    From European Space Agency: “Gaia clocks new speeds for Milky Way-Andromeda collision” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency

    7 February 2019

    Roeland P. van der Marel
    Space Telescope Science Institute
    Baltimore, USA
    Email: marel@stsci.edu

    Mark Fardal
    Space Telescope Science Institute
    Baltimore, USA
    Email: fardal@stsci.edu

    Ekta Patel
    Steward Observatory
    University of Arizona, USA
    Email: ektapatel@email.arizona.edu

    Timo Prusti
    ESA Gaia Project Scientist
    Email: tprusti@cosmos.esa.int

    Markus Bauer
    ESA Science Programme Communication Officer
    Tel: +31 71 565 6799
    Mob: +31 61 594 3 954
    Email: markus.bauer@esa.int

    1
    Future motions of the Milky Way, Andromeda and Triangulum galaxies
    07/02/2019
    Copyright Orbits: E. Patel, G. Besla (University of Arizona), R. van der Marel (STScI); Images: ESA (Milky Way); ESA/Gaia/DPAC (Messier 31, Messier 33)

    The future orbital trajectories of three spiral galaxies: our Milky Way (blue), Andromeda, also known as Messier 31 (red), and Triangulum, also known as Messier 33 (green). The circle indicates the current position of each galaxy, and their future trajectories have been calculated using data from the second release of ESA’s Gaia mission. The Milky Way is shown as an artist’s impression, while the images of Andromeda and Triangulum are based on Gaia data. Arrows along the trajectories indicate the estimated direction of each galaxy’s motion and their positions, 2.5 billion years into the future, while crosses mark their estimated position in about 4.5 billion years. Approximately 4.5 billion years from now, the Milky Way and Andromeda will make their first close passage around one another at a distance of approximately 400 000 light-years. The galaxies will then continue to move closer to one another and eventually merge to form an elliptical galaxy. The linear scale of 1 million light years refers to the galaxy trajectories; the galaxy images are not to scale.

    ESA’s Gaia satellite has looked beyond our Galaxy and explored two nearby galaxies to reveal the stellar motions within them and how they will one day interact and collide with the Milky Way – with surprising results.

    ESA/GAIA satellite

    Our Milky Way belongs to a large gathering of galaxies known as the Local Group and, along with the Andromeda and Triangulum galaxies – also referred to as Messier 31 and Messier 33, respectively – makes up the majority of the group’s mass.

    Local Group. Andrew Z. Colvin 3 March 2011

    Andromeda Galaxy NASA/ESA Hubble

    The VLT Survey Telescope (VST) at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile has captured this beautifully detailed image of the galaxy Messier 33, often called the Triangulum Galaxy. This nearby spiral, the second closest large galaxy to our own galaxy, the Milky Way, is packed with bright star clusters, and clouds of gas and dust. This picture is amongst the most detailed wide-field views of this object ever taken and shows the many glowing red gas clouds in the spiral arms with particular clarity.

    Astronomers have long suspected that Andromeda will one day collide with the Milky Way, completely reshaping our cosmic neighbourhood. However, the three-dimensional movements of the Local Group galaxies remained unclear, painting an uncertain picture of the Milky Way’s future.

    Milkdromeda -Andromeda on the left-Earth’s night sky in 3.75 billion years-NASA

    “We needed to explore the galaxies’ motions in 3D to uncover how they have grown and evolved, and what creates and influences their features and behaviour,” says lead author Roeland van der Marel of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, USA.

    “We were able to do this using the second package of high-quality data released by Gaia.”

    Gaia is currently building the most precise 3D map of the stars in the nearby Universe, and is releasing its data in stages. The data from the second release, made in April 2018, was used in this research.

    Previous studies of the Local Group have combined observations from telescopes including the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the ground-based Very Long Baseline Array to figure out how the orbits of Andromeda and Triangulum have changed over time. The two disc-shaped spiral galaxies are located between 2.5 and 3 million light-years from us, and are close enough to one another that they may be interacting.

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    NRAO/VLBA

    Two possibilities emerged: either Triangulum is on an incredibly long six-billion-year orbit around Andromeda but has already fallen into it in the past, or it is currently on its very first infall. Each scenario reflects a different orbital path, and thus a different formation history and future for each galaxy.

    While Hubble has obtained the sharpest view ever of both Andromeda and Triangulum, Gaia measures the individual position and motion of many of their stars with unprecedented accuracy.

    “We combed through the Gaia data to identify thousands of individual stars in both galaxies, and studied how these stars moved within their galactic homes,” adds co-author Mark Fardal, also of Space Telescope Science Institute.

    “While Gaia primarily aims to study the Milky Way, it’s powerful enough to spot especially massive and bright stars within nearby star-forming regions – even in galaxies beyond our own.”

    The stellar motions measured by Gaia not only reveal how each of the galaxies moves through space, but also how each rotates around its own spin axis.

    A century ago, when astronomers were first trying to understand the nature of galaxies, these spin measurements were much sought-after, but could not be successfully completed with the telescopes available at the time.

    “It took an observatory as advanced as Gaia to finally do so,” says Roeland.

    “For the first time, we’ve measured how Messier 31 and Messier 33 rotate on the sky. Astronomers used to see galaxies as clustered worlds that couldn’t possibly be separate ‘islands’, but we now know otherwise.

    “It has taken 100 years and Gaia to finally measure the true, tiny, rotation rate of our nearest large galactic neighbour, Messier 31. This will help us to understand more about the nature of galaxies.”

    By combining existing observations with the new data release from Gaia, the researchers determined how Andromeda and Triangulum are each moving across the sky, and calculated the orbital path for each galaxy both backwards and forwards in time for billions of years.

    “The velocities we found show that Messier 33 cannot be on a long orbit around Messier 31,” says co-author Ekta Patel of the University of Arizona, USA. “Our models unanimously imply that M33 must be on its first infall into Messier 31.”

    While the Milky Way and Andromeda are still destined to collide and merge, both the timing and destructiveness of the interaction are also likely to be different than expected.

    As Andromeda’s motion differs somewhat from previous estimates, the galaxy is likely to deliver more of a glancing blow to the Milky Way than a head-on collision. This will take place not in 3.9 billion years’ time, but in 4.5 billion – some 600 million years later than anticipated.

    “This finding is crucial to our understanding of how galaxies evolve and interact,” says Timo Prusti, ESA Gaia Project Scientist.

    “We see unusual features in both M31 and M33, such as warped streams and tails of gas and stars. If the galaxies haven’t come together before, these can’t have been created by the forces felt during a merger. Perhaps they formed via interactions with other galaxies, or by gas dynamics within the galaxies themselves.

    “Gaia was designed primarily for mapping stars within the Milky Way — but this new study shows that the satellite is exceeding expectations, and can provide unique insights into the structure and dynamics of galaxies beyond the realm of our own. The longer Gaia watches the tiny movements of these galaxies across the sky, the more precise our measurements will become.”

    ESA’s Gaia satellite was launched in 2013 to create the most precise three-dimensional map of one billion of the stars within the Milky Way. The mission has released two lots of data so far: Gaia Data Release 1 on 14 September 2016, and Gaia Data Release 2 on 25 April 2018 (the latter of which was used in this study). More releases will follow in coming years.

    Science paper:
    “First Gaia Dynamics of the Andromeda System: DR2 Proper Motions, Orbits, and Rotation of Messier 31 and Messier 33” by R. P. van der Marel et al. is published in The Astrophysical Journal.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA50 Logo large

     
  • richardmitnick 10:38 am on February 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ESA, Zero-G takeoff- Airbus A310   

    From European Space Agency: “Science on a plane – ESA’s next parabolic flight campaign” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency

    7 February 2019

    1
    Zero-G takeoff
    08/05/2015
    Copyright ESA
    The refitted Airbus A310 aircraft after take-off for a test-flight for weightless research. Although the aircraft can weigh up to 157 tonnes, skilled pilots angle its nose 50° upwards to create brief periods of weightlessness. At the top of each curve, the forces on the passengers and objects inside cancel each other out, causing everything to float in weightlessness. During the climb and pulling out of the descent, the occupants endure almost twice normal gravity. A person weighing 80 kg on Earth will feel as if they weighed 160 kg for around 20 seconds. Conducting hands-on experiments in weightlessness and hypergravity is enticing for researchers in fields as varied as biology, physics, medicine and applied sciences. French company Novespace has conducted these ‘parabolic flights’ for more than 25 years. This aircraft was acquired in 2014 to replace their trusty Airbus A300. Most seats were removed to provide as much space as possible inside, while padded walls provide a soft landing for the researchers – the changes in ‘gravity’ can be hard to handle. Extra monitoring stations were installed for a technician to monitor the aircraft system’s as it is pushed to its limits – this is no transatlantic cruise.

    In May engineers, pilots, researchers and scientists will convene in Bordeaux, France, for ESA’s 71st parabolic flight campaign. Over the course of three days they will fly on a specially-fitted commercial aircraft, testing equipment and running research as the pilots put the plane through repeated parabolas, giving the passengers and their experiments brief bouts of microgravity.

    Classified as a test flight for safety reasons the parabolic flight campaigns mostly fly over the Atlantic Ocean and have been running for decades to offer researchers hands-on access to their equipment and test subjects in weightlessness.

    2
    Science with(out) gravity – parabolic flights
    07/02/2019
    Copyright ESA

    Gravity affects everything we do on Earth but we know surprisingly little about how it works and how it affects life. Until recently scientists had no way of experimenting without gravity to understand what life would be like without it. Research in space or with facilities on Earth that recreate aspects of space bring knowledge, discoveries and improvements to our daily life and further our exploration of the Solar System. ESA offers many platforms for conducting experiments across the whole spectrum of scientific disciplines. You can run an experiment in a sounding rocket, drop towers, centrifuges, Antarctica and even the International Space Station. Parabolic flights are useful for short-duration scientific and technological investigations in reduced gravity. These flights are the only way to test microgravity with humans without going through lengthy astronaut-training and flights to the International Space Station. For this reason, parabolic flights are often used to validate space instruments and train astronauts before spaceflight.

    Proposals for experiments are always welcome and can be submitted via the research announcement page: http://www.esa.int/spaceflightAO

    “Novespace, the company that runs the flights, prepared the plane by removing half the seats, adding safety padding, and installing mechanical and electrical connections for the experiments,” says ESA’s project coordinator Neil Melville, “It isn’t really any different from a normal airliner, apart from the special way it is flown, needing a well-trained safety crew and three pilots simultaneously to fly parabolas. We always bring an interesting diversity of science on board, and this campaign promises to be no different with experiments on how our spines cope and how we judge distances in weightlessness, as well as testing experiments that will also fly to the International Space Station.”

    Stiff back? Astronauts in space know the feeling. They have reported increased spinal stiffness in space and on the Moon. It is possibly due to the back muscles contracting to keep the spine in place – the muscles kick-in to take over the job of gravity on Earth. On this campaign an experiment will measure the curvature of the spine in test subjects as they undergo the repeated parabolas inside the aircraft, enduring both weightlessness and hypergravity during the pull up phases. The research will help us understand back pain off Earth and at home.

    3
    Weightless weak equivalence principle
    10/06/2013
    Copyright ESA

    During ten seconds of weightlessness Brynle Barrett from the Laboratory of Photonics, Numerical Sciences and Nanosciences at the University of Bordeaux monitors an experiment to test the ‘weak equivalence principle’ – or why a feather in a vacuum falls as fast as a hammer. To confirm that objects in free-fall behave universally, even at a microscopic level, a team of scientists used lasers to cool atoms to around –273°C. On Earth, atoms fall away from laser beams because of gravity. “In microgravity, atoms stay in the beams for much longer, so we get better data,” explains Brynle. Parabolic flights are the only way to run such experiments on humans without leaving Earth’s atmosphere. Over the course of multiple roller-coaster flights at up to 45°, researchers find out more about the effects of gravity on experiments and improve equipment destined for space.

    Fundamental physics and space hardware

    Shake a packet of cornflakes and the smaller flakes will fall to the bottom. But how do granular physics behave in weightlessness? One experiment will vibrate granular media to see how they behave and create better computer models of the phenomena.

    Other experiments will look at testing heat pipes for possible use in spacecraft to keep them operating at the right temperature. Without convection to make heat dissipate other cooling mechanisms must be used and designing spacecraft to work in the extreme temperatures of space is always a priority.

    Parabolic flights are one of many platforms ESA offers for European researchers to run experiments for spaceflight. These flights are one of the few that allow the researchers to interact with their own experiments “hands-on” in a weightless environment. Send a proposal through our continuously open research announcements and you could be flying on the next campaign.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA50 Logo large

     
  • richardmitnick 9:44 am on February 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , ESA, France- The Scientific Group of Space Biology and Medicine, Germany -DLR Planetary Space Simulation Facilities, Recreating space on Earth – two facilities join ESA’s platforms for spaceflight research, Space reseach   

    From European Space Agency: “Recreating space on Earth – two facilities join ESA’s platforms for spaceflight research” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency

    6 February 2019

    Science is everywhere but opportunities to carry out research in space can be limited. To combat this, ESA works with institutes across Europe to maintain a network of ground-based facilities that recreate aspects of spaceflight.

    From radiation to weightlessness, isolation and a lack of Earthly comforts, astronauts and robots on missions far from home face many challenges in space.

    To help mitigate these, two new facilities have been added to Europe’s roster of places where researchers can apply to run spaceflight experiments on Earth with ESA.

    1
    New opportunities for young researchers. Released 06/02/2019 ESA–G. Porter

    Random Positioning Machine Simulates martian Gravity

    In Toulouse, France, the Scientific Group of Space Biology and Medicine with support from France’s space agency CNES has a number of instruments that can recreate microgravity for plant experiments. One of these is a random positioning machine that moves its experiment along all axes as it rotates, turning it upside-down and left-to-right for long periods of time.

    2
    Multigen Arabidopsis. Released 04/07/2016 . Copyright ESA

    Charles Darwin first described how plant stems grow in a corkscrew fashion, but how it happens was unclear. The Multigen experiment on the International Space Station showed in 2007 it is driven by an interplay of light and gravity driving cell signals in the plants. The Aradopsis plants were grown in ESA’s European Modular Cultivation System – a miniature greenhouse to probe how plants grow in weightlessness.

    On average, over weeks or months, the effect of gravity negates to zero allowing researchers to study how plants grow in and react to different levels of gravity.
    The facility in Toulouse also has a low-level radiation generator that bombards cells with similar levels of radiation levels to those that plants would receive on Mars or in Earth orbit. These kinds of plant-based experiments are paving the way for greenhouses in space and could see astronauts harvest their own food during long missions away from Earth.

    Space simulation facilities in Germany

    The second new addition comes from the German aerospace center DLR where Planetary Space Simulation Facilities focus on how biological and chemical materials react to spaceflight.
    DLR facilities enable cells and particles to be exposed to ultra-high vacuum, gas compositions, extreme temperatures, UV radiation and x-rays, helping researchers better prepare their experiment or hardware for the realities of spaceflight.

    3
    Planetary and space simulation facilities
    Released 06/02/2019 11:38 am
    Copyright DLR

    The fully equipped and monitored Planetary and Space Simulation facilities allow a broad range of tests with biological and chemical material individually or integrated into space hardware. The equipment can simulate ultra high vacuum, gas compositions, low and high temperature limits, temperature oscillations, extraterrestrial UV radiation and x-ray.
    The analysis of these exposure tests contribute to a deeper under-standing of the individual and synergistic effects of space with the exposed material. In this way they support the design optimisation and verification of spacecraft devices and the selection of the most promising biological candidates and chemical compositions for flight experiments in low Earth orbit or other space destinations.

    “As with any expedition, preparing and testing equipment is key to successful exploration,” says Jennifer Ngo-Anh head of ESA’s human spaceflight research team, “the better prepared we are for the extreme environments humans and robots must face as we explore our Universe, the better the outcome of the missions.

    “We offer researchers state-of-the-art facilities all over Europe and beyond our planet to carry out experiments and increase knowledge of our world. I am very happy to include these two sites in the roster with our partners and hope to see more ground-breaking research projects in the future.”

    European researchers can apply to run their experiment through ESA’s continuously open research announcements here.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA50 Logo large

     
  • richardmitnick 11:06 am on February 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Space science vision', An interview with ESA’s Director of Science Günther Hasinger on space science at ESA, , , , , ESA   

    From European Space Agency: “Space science vision” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency

    An interview with ESA’s Director of Science, Günther Hasinger, on space science at ESA

    5 February 2019


    Science at ESA

    How has ESA contributed to the growth of space science in the past decades and what are the big questions it will tackle in the future?
    The Horizon 2000 programme with its ‘cornerstone’ missions – Soho and Cluster, XMM-Newton, Herschel, and Rosetta – and several ‘medium-class’ missions (including Hubble, Cassini-Huygens, Planck, Integral and Hipparcos) covers all aspects of space science and had a truly fundamental role for European astronomy, paving the way for the current Cosmic Vision programme.

    ESA/NASA SOHO

    ESA/Cluster quartet

    ESA/XMM Newton

    ESA/Herschel spacecraft active from 2009 to 2013

    ESA/Rosetta spacecraft, European Space Agency’s legendary comet explorer Rosetta

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini-Huygens Spacecraft

    ESA/Planck 2009 to 2013

    ESA/Integral

    ESA/Hipparcos satellite

    Our successful science missions have roamed the Solar System, including two landings on distant celestial bodies that con­sti­tuted “world firsts”– namely Huygens landing on Titan in 2005 and Rosetta dropping a lander on a comet in 2014.

    ESA/Huygens Probe from Cassini landed on Titan

    ESA Rosetta Philae Lander

    We have observed the Universe across the electromagnetic spectrum, addressing a wide range of processes in our cosmos, from plan­ets and exoplanets, to stellar and galactic physics, to black holes and active galaxies all the way to observations of the big bang’s relic radiation.

    The last few years have seen Europe developing inter­national leadership in a number of key areas of space science, such as the cosmic microwave back­ground (with Planck), precision astrometry (with GAIA), gravitational wave astronomy (with the technology demonstration of Lisa Pathfinder and soon with the future Lisa mission), exploration of the inner Solar System (we are en route to Mercury with BepiColombo and will soon launch Solar Orbiter), characterisation of primordial bodies (with Rosetta), and investigation of dark energy (with the future Euclid mission).

    ESA/GAIA satellite

    ESA/LISA Pathfinder

    Gravity is talking. Lisa will listen. Dialogos of Eide


    ESA/NASA eLISA space based, the future of gravitational wave research

    ESA-JAXA BepiColombo

    NASA/ESA Solar Orbiter

    ESA/Euclid spacecraft

    International cooperation is a key element in ESA’s strategy, and the Science Programme is a partner of choice for practically all space agencies in the world.

    2
    ESA’s fleet of cosmic observers

    Why was the move to space determining in the history of astronomy, and why do we need so many space telescopes?
    Space has opened new windows into the Universe, beyond what our eyes can see and into the far-infrared, X-rays and gamma rays, for example. For a long time, space has also provided an unbeatable advantage in optical image quality – the Hubble Space Telescope is a prime example. Space is still unprecedented in terms of instrument stability needed for high precision astrometry (Gaia) and photometry (a key aspect of exoplanet missions).

    To cover all these aspects, it is necessary to operate a fleet of space observatories, almost like an orchestra, each of them with a different tune, which together make the music. More and more it is becoming important to have international players in this orchestra, because individual agencies can no longer afford an independent orchestra of their own. This requires in particular a very long-term view in our strategic planning, and an early and stable coordination with our international partners.

    3
    ESA’s fleet of Solar System explorers

    How is ESA preparing for the technological and scientific challenges of the next decades?
    The long-term strategic planning and preparation over several decades requires targeted technology development for our future flagship missions. One example of this process is our Smart-1 mission to the Moon, which developed and tested the solar electric propulsion now employed by BepiColombo, on its way to Mercury – a technology that will hopefully be used again in future Solar System missions. We are preparing a whole fleet for exoplanet studies, which are based on technologies developed in previous cycles.

    ESA Smart-1 depiction no artist credit

    ESA RAL magnificent Smart-1 depiction

    Another example is Smart-2, now known as Lisa Pathfinder, which has developed the drag-free inertial control as an essential ingredient for our future gravitational wave observatory, Lisa. The mirror technology development for our future large X-ray observatory Athena builds on decades of experience, for example with XMM-Newton, and new robotic manufacturing tools. Together, Athena and Lisa will open a whole area of multi-messenger studies – “bringing sound to the cosmic movies”.

    ESA/Athena spacecraft depiction

    Reflecting on the past year – and your first year as ESA Science Director – what have been some of ESA’s science success stories?
    Top of my hit list is Gaia, which made history with its second data release and produced more than 800 refereed publications in 2018. A particularly intriguing result has dug into the archaeological history of our Galaxy, indicating a major merger about 10 billion years ago.

    XMM-Newton has solved a long-standing riddle concerning missing ‘ordinary’ matter in the Universe, by detecting a warm-hot component of gas in between the galaxies.

    There has been more excitement from Mars, with the Mars Express detection of liquid water under the South Pole, and the ongoing detective story from the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, which is searching for trace gases in the Mars atmosphere.

    ESA/ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter


    ESA ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter CHASSIS

    Finally, my pet object is the odd-shaped interstellar visitor ‘Oumuamua, where Hubble and ground-based observations have discovered a fascinating acceleration of its trajectory away from the Sun. I hope we will see more of those in the near future!

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA50 Logo large

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel
%d bloggers like this: